Drilling from a distance

Proof of concept

Minntac takes Pit Viper Teleremote for a test drive

July 26, 2016

United States Steel Corporation has been undergoing a transformation of its core business processes amid challenging markets since 2013 with a series of a program strategies they are calling “The Carnegie Way.” Located on the Iron Range, a formation of taconite in northern Minnesota, U. S. Steel’s Minntac Mine is looking to technology. Teleremote-drilling operations touch upon many of the company’s values, supporting continued sustainability through increased efficiency for generations to come.
The teleremote capability of the Atlas Copco Pit Viper 351 rotary blasthole drill rig was introduced to the Minntac operation so the company could see how it integrated into its existing operation. Remote operation of a drill rig generally gives mines safe access to areas that are otherwise difficult to drill or muck. It can also give a single driller the ability to operate multiple rigs simultaneously from one operating platform. This improved performance, greater productivity and enhanced safety are key principles of The Carnegie Way initiative.

"We have competent rock and good drilling conditions throughout our mine. We wanted to look at the teleremote Pit Viper as proof of concept regarding increased efficiency: Will it increase productivity?"

Matt Luoma, Area Manager of Mine Engineering and Development at Minntac
Download the article to read the full story
  • Pit Viper Automation.pdf 391.1 kB, PDF

2016 International Customer story